12 April 2015
Mitochondrial numbers increase during oocyte growth. In this study, we collected oocytes and granulosa cell complexes (OGCs) from early antral follicles (EAFs) of aged cows (> 120 months of age) and examined the effects of resveratrol on mitochondrial generation, degradation, and quality in oocytes grown in vitro. We also examined the effects of resveratrol on gene expression of the granulosa cells. Resveratrol (20 µM) enhanced the expression of SIRT1 and induced autophagy in both granulosa cells and oocytes derived from aged cows. Culturing the OGCs with resveratrol increased mitochondrial DNA copy numbers in oocytes grown in vitro. Furthermore, resveratrol increased the ATP content in oocytes and improved the developmental ability of the oocytes to the blastocyst stage. Gene expression profiles in granulosa cells, as evaluated by next-generation sequencing technology, revealed that resveratrol enhanced the expression of EIF2-related genes but downregulated the expression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-, inflammation-, and cholesterol homeostasis-related genes in granulosa cells. In conclusion, resveratrol affected both oocytes and granulosa cells derived from aged cows and improved the quality of oocytes grown in vitro through upregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and degradation in growing oocytes and conditioning of granulosa cells.